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Multiplicity of Taxes Creates Uncertainty, Instability—Buhari

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Buhari multiplicity of taxes

By Dipo Olowookere

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed his desire to put in place an efficient tax administration so as to improve tax revenue in the country and make payments attractive to taxpayers.

Mr Buhari, while declaring open the second National Tax Dialogue Week in Abuja on Tuesday, tasked participants to come up with initiatives that will improve tax administration in Nigeria.

He expressed worry over the multiplicity of taxes in the country, stressing that this was causing confusion among taxpayers, noting that this was why the government authorised the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to be the sola agency to administer tax in Nigeria in the 2021 Finance Act.

According to him, the current tax system in the country is characterised by fragmented administration, multiple and sometimes, overlapping taxes.

“In most tax-efficient nations, tax administrative processes and practices are harmonised within a single system.

“One key deliverable of this year’s tax dialogue is to promote synergy in tax administration among the different tiers of government.

“Harmonising taxpayer identification across the country is a good start, but we must do more to promote ease of doing business (including ease of tax compliance) in Nigeria.

“On our part, we have started by clarifying in the 2021 Finance Act that FIRS is the sole authority to administer tax for the federal government.

“This clarification became necessary in order to avoid taxpayers being burdened with multiple tax compliance obligations towards different agencies of the same government.

“Multiplicity of tax administration is as undesirable as the multiplicity of taxes; it creates uncertainty and instability; and above all, it is inefficient,” Mr Buhari said.

At the event themed Tax Harmonisation for Enhanced Revenue Generation, the President further stressed the need to maximise domestic revenue within the extant tax policy and laws, tasking stakeholders to suggest ways to improve tax revenue without necessarily imposing new tax rates on Nigerians.

“We all know that good intentions are not enough as they simply cannot pay for infrastructure, security or social amenities. We must therefore improve tax revenue without necessarily raising new taxes.

“Revenue from commodities, including crude oil, are too volatile and unreliable. Therefore, I pledge government’s support for any viable initiative for improving tax revenue that should emanate from this dialogue,” he said.

President Buhari also said Nigeria must do more to expand its tax base so as to improve the tax-to-GDP ratio, which he lamented was too low at 6.0 per cent, “according to the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in its Revenue Statistics in Africa 2021.”

“It is obvious that much needs to be done in the area of tax revenue mobilisation.

“It is my expectation that the discussions at this 2022 National Tax Dialogue will be focused on what we must do to maximise legitimate revenue collection and massively improve the Tax-to-GDP ratio,” he said.

In her remarks, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, said the main tax revenue objectives of the federal government include developing an economy that does not lean too heavily on resource wealth.

“The right attitude towards taxation will enable every Nigerian to become a co-guardian of the tax system and the commonwealth,” she said.

On his part, the Chairman of FIRS, Mr Muhammad Nani, stated that, “Nigeria shall be the envy of other countries for tax compliance and domestic tax revenue mobilization.”

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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Economy

Market Gains 0.12% on Interests in Guinness, FBNH, Cadbury Nigeria

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guinness nigeria

By Dipo Olowookere

Interests in the shares of Guinness Nigeria, Cadbury Nigeria, FBN Holdings and others lifted the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited by 0.12 per cent on Friday.

From analysis of the trading data, the consumer goods, banking and energy sectors saw significant bargain hunting activities during the session, leaving their respective index closing higher by 0.57 per cent, 0.41 per cent, and 0.03 per cent.

However, the insurance counter witnessed a pocket of profit-taking as its index went down by 0.09 per cent, while the industrial goods sector closed the way it opened for the session.

When the bourse finish for the day, the All-Share Index (ASI) was up by 59.33 points to settle at 49,024.16 points compared with the previous day’s 48,964.83 points as the market capitalisation finished N32 billion higher to N26.452 trillion from N26.420 trillion.

The market breadth was positive yesterday, with 17 price gainers and 10 price losers, indicating a strong investor sentiment.

RT Briscoe appreciated by 9.68 per cent to trade at 34 Kobo, May and Baker rose by 9.63 per cent to N4.10, Guinness Nigeria improved by 9.29 per cent to N82.90, Jaiz Bank climbed higher by 8.43 per cent to 90 Kobo, and UPDC expanded by 8.42 per cent to N1.03.

At the other side of the table, Ikeja Hotel was on top after its value crashed by 9.68 per cent to N1.12, Sovereign Trust Insurance fell by 6.90 per cent to 27 Kobo, NAHCO dropped 3.51 per cent to sell for N5.50, UPDC REIT went down by 3.13 per cent to N3.10, and Neimeth depreciated by 2.10 per cent to N1.40.

Business Post reports that the level of activity improved on the last trading session of the week as the trading volume, value and number of deals increased by 61.58 per cent, 65.96 per cent and 3.67 per cent, respectively.

This was because investors transacted 356.7 million shares worth N3.7 billion in 3,219 deals as against the 220.8 million shares worth N2.3 billion transacted on Thursday in 3,105 deals.

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Economy

Nigeria at 62: Buhari Says Borrowing Necessary for Growth

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Buhari stimulating economic growth

By Adedapo Adesanya

In what would be his last Independence Day address, President Muhammadu Buhari, on Saturday, defended his government’s borrowing policy, describing it as a necessary step to provide the infrastructure that would expand opportunities for the growth of the Nigerian economy.

Mr Buhari stated in the address to the country on October 1, 2022, that, “The federal government is already expanding port operations to ensure that they provide opportunities for the growth of the Nigerian economy.

“We have also continued to accelerate our infrastructure development through serviceable and transparent borrowing, improved capital inflow & increased revenue generation by expanding the tax bases and prudent management of investment proceeds in the Sovereign Wealth Fund.

“To further open up our communities to economic activities, we have continued to boost our railway infrastructure with the completion of a good number of critical railways and at the same time rehabilitating as well as upgrading obsolete equipment.”

The President also noted that no village in the country was left behind in the regime’s Social Investment Programmes such as N-Power, trader-moni, market moni, etc.

“I am pleased to inform my fellow citizens that besides our emphasis on infrastructural development with its attendant opportunities for job creation, employment generation and subsequent poverty reduction, our focused intervention directly to Nigerians through the National Social Investment Programme is also yielding benefits.

“There is hardly any ward, village or local government in Nigeria today that has not benefited from one of the following: N-Power, trader-moni, market moni, subsidized loans, business grants or Conditional Cash Transfers.

“All the programmes mentioned above along with various interventions by the National Social Investment Programme, direct support to victims of flooding and other forms of disasters have provided succour to the affected Nigerians,” Mr Buhari said.

He also promised Nigerians that he would ensure free and fair elections come 2023 and called for more youth and women participation in the electoral cycle.

He said, “Having witnessed at close quarters the pains, anguish and disappointment of being a victim of an unfair electoral process, the pursuit of an electoral system and processes that guarantee the election of leaders by citizens remains the guiding light as I prepare to wind down our administration.

“You would all agree that the recent elections in the past two years in some states, notably Anambra, Ekiti and Osun and a few federal constituencies, have shown a high degree of credibility, transparency and freedom of choice with the people’s votes actually counting. This I promise would be improved upon as we move towards the 2023 general elections,” he said.

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Economy

CSCS, NASD Lifts Unlisted Stock Market by 0.61%

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Unlisted Stock Market

By Adedapo Adesanya

The final trading session on the NASD over-the-counter (OTC) Securities Exchange in September 2022 ended on a positive note on Friday, with the bourse closing 0.61 per cent lower.

Business Post reports that the bullish performance was buoyed by the rise in the share prices of Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc and NASD Plc.

Consequently, the market capitalisation of the unlisted stock market increased by N5.83 billion to close at N968.60 billion versus Thursday’s N962.77 billion as the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) expanded by 4.44 basis points to end the day at 735.79 points as against the 731.35 points it recorded in the previous session.

Yesterday, CSCS Plc improved by N1.07 to sell at N14.17 per share compared to the N13.10 per share of the preceding session, while NASD Plc gained N1 to close at N13.00 per unit in contrast to the preceding day’s N14.00 per unit.

But the bullish trend did not extend to the activity chart as the volume of securities traded by investors decreased by 55.1 per cent to 105,440 units from the 725,984 units transacted a day earlier.

In the same pattern, the value of transactions went down by 96.1 per cent to N1.6 million from N41.5 million, while the number of deals increased by 50 per cent to six deals from the four deals recorded on Thursday.

At the end of the session, AG Mortgage Bank Plc remained the most traded stock by volume (year-to-date) with 2.3 billion units valued at N1.2 billion, CSCS Plc stood in second place with 687.6 million units valued at N14.3 billion as Mixta Real Estate Plc was in third place with 178.1 million units valued at N313.4 million.

CSCS Plc was also the most traded stock by value (year-to-date) with 687.6 million units worth N14.3 billion, VFD Group Plc was in second place with 27.7 million units valued at N7.4 billion, and FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc was in third place with 14.3 million units worth N1.7 billion.

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